A Guide to Malta: What You Should Know Before Visiting

By Gavin | June 09, 2023

Malta is known for its rich history and beautiful oceans, but there are a few things that you need to know first. This is Katie from Creative Travel Guide, and today we share the things to know before you go to Malta. Looking for more travel tips? Make sure to hit subscribe and ring that notification bell. So, firstly let's look at the reasons to visit Malta. Firstly, the locals are known for their friendliness and hospitality. They are kind-hearted people and will make your stay in the country welcoming and homely. Additionally, English is Malta's official second language, meaning most people speak the language, so you won't have to worry too much about communication or miscommunications. The country has a fascinating history to learn about and explore, as well as plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Try scuba diving in the clear blue waters surrounding the islands; it is a must. Malta is also home to plenty of beaches and sees over 300 days of sunshine a year.

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The Best Time to Visit Malta for Budget Travelers

Sunshine, there are plenty of things to see and do. Plus, this country is relatively cheap compared to its neighboring European destinations, so it's perfect for budget travelers too. So now let's look at the best time to visit Malta. Visiting Malta between October to early June is the best time. These shoulder months of June and October are perfect because you will have warm weather and fewer crowds. Plus, the off-season brings cheaper hotel rooms and pleasant weather. But don't worry, you can still enjoy the beach and go for a swim in the sea during the spring and autumn months. However, during the summer, the island is incredibly popular, so you will have crowds and traffic everywhere. It is also incredibly hot during the summer too, so you will want to dash into shops for a bit of cool air conditioning. So now let's talk.

About Getting There: So, Air Malta is the country's national airline, which offers the most flights to the country. Prices are competitive so compare these with Ryanair and EasyJet before you book. We recommend this airline though, as you get better service, and flights are on time. You can get direct flights to Malta from most destinations in Europe or make a connection via London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, or Amsterdam. From the airport, you can either pick up your rental car or take a taxi. There is a taxi stand at the airport with flat rates available for some of the cities. You can also download the E-Cabs app, which works in a similar way to Uber. This also leads us on to getting around Malta. The best way to get around Malta is to drive. You can rent a car and make sure to drive with patience.

With more and more cars on the island, main roads can be busy, and reckless driving is a problem. Drive carefully and avoid the main roads in the morning or the afternoon rush hours. Even on the country roads, you will come across potholes and narrow roads, so drive carefully at all times. If you are renting a car, also choose to rent a smaller car when possible. Roads in the cities are narrow, and parking is limited, so the smaller the car, the better. If you aren't able to drive around Malta, find a hotel in one of the cities and stick to walking. Buses are cheap, but they are often delayed and overcrowded. During the summer months, you can save some money by getting an explore plus travel card or a full day hop-on hop-off bus tour. For those wanting to see the sights or like we mentioned before, download the e-cabs app (similar to Uber) to book taxis around the city. These can often work out cheaper than regular taxis.

Discover the Best Ways to Save Money and Experience Malta's Culture and Beauty

So now, let's talk about the typical prices in Malta. Hostel rooms are available for around 25 euros outside of the capital. Mid-range rooms will cost you around 70 to 100 euros depending on the location and gorgeous 4 to 5-star hotels start around 120 euros. But, you can also rent a place on Airbnb. Entire guest houses can be rented for just 200 euros a night, perfect for group travelers or families looking to splurge. As we mentioned before, a two-hour bus ticket is one euro 50 in the winter and two euros in the summer. Taxi prices vary depending on how far you are going and in which city you're traveling. Whilst renting a car for a week will cost around 200 euros, just make sure to book those car rentals in advance, especially if you are visiting during the summer months. When you are looking at how much money you're going to spend on food, local bakeries, and cafes offer food for around four euros whilst beer starts at around two euros.

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A sit-down meal for 2 will cost around 50 euros, so as we mentioned before, public transport is the cheapest way to get around Malta, and picking up an Explore card allows you to travel unlimited for seven days across all of Malta. This is a great way to save money in the country. Also, head to Malta from October to March when the temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius, but prices are much cheaper than any other time during the year. Malta is full of grab-and-go eateries perfect for any time of the day, and they are offering street food style items for around 2 euros. If you are traveling as a group, renting an Airbnb can be a more affordable option, especially if you are looking to stay in the cities. Also, there are plenty of free things to do in Malta as well. Surrounded by plenty of ocean reefs, wrecks, and caves, you can pick up a snorkeling set and get exploring. Head to the Blue Lagoon for crystal-clear waters.

Clear waters! Before relaxing on one of the many gorgeous beaches, visit Medina, the country's first capital and a living museum with cobbled streets, impressive palaces, and unique architecture. Malta is also home to over 260 churches, which are free to visit. So now, let's look at some local tips when traveling along the coastal regions. Especially when hiking, be careful of loose rocks and do not cliff dive. Make sure to only swim in the designated swimming areas by the beaches. The currency in Malta is euros. We advise bringing euros with you or exchanging money at the local banks in Malta for decent prices. Just avoid the exchange spots in the tourist areas. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are all widely accepted in the hotels and restaurants of Malta as well. There doesn't tend to be a cover charge in most restaurants.

Festivals in Malta: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

But make sure to tip around 10%; this is the standard. Also, if you do plan on visiting Malta's churches, make sure to dress appropriately, cover your shoulders, and avoid mini shorts and skirts. Head to Valletta at night for live music and nightclubs, alongside exquisite cafes and restaurants. Also, enjoy the festivals of Malta as well - there are plenty of them, from the Strawberry Festival to the Fast and Spare Festival, you have plenty to choose from. So now let's talk about the best eats in Malta. Firstly, make sure to try the local soups and stews, particularly the popular rabbit stew. Of course, with Malta being an island, you aren't short of seafood options; there are plenty of dishes to choose from. And we recommend the lamb pookie pie - a tasty fish pie with a light, crunchy pastry. There are so many fantastic restaurants to choose from in Malta - we will leave a link to a full Malta travel guide in the description below.

So now, let's look at the best things to do in Malta. You can't visit Malta without visiting the beaches, but make sure you do some sightseeing too. Head to the oldest standing structure in the world in Malta, which dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. Although touristy, make sure to check out the Blue Lagoon. Then head over to the ─Žal Saflieni Hypogeum, an ancient burial site and temple carved over 5,000 years ago. Watch this video for more Malta travel tips. Let us know in the comments where you are most excited to visit. Have an amazing time and stay creative!

Conclusion

Malta is a great destination for travelers looking for a mix of history, outdoor activities, and sunny beaches. The locals are friendly and English is widely spoken, making communication easy. Visiting during the shoulder months of June and October is recommended for avoiding the crowds and high temperatures of summer. Overall, Malta offers a unique and affordable travel experience.